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PROVIDENCE – You’ve probably seen some of the studies or heard the experts warning that climate change is among the biggest challenges on the planet, but the Globe has set out to find solutions to the problem here at home.

In September, we published the findings of a summer-long investigation into how Cape Cod is changing rapidly from the effects of a climate change. That begged the question: What’s happening in Rhode Island and what is being done to address the problem?

The Globe asked six stakeholders – including elected officials, nonprofit leaders and a leading journalist – to write op-eds identifying some of the key climate issues Rhode Island is facing and offer ideas on how to address them.


Sheldon Whitehouse

US senator

It’s time to remove plastic waste in our oceans

Why Senator Whitehouse is working with Republicans to clean up a mess that has left scientists warning that plastic in the ocean will outweigh fish by 2050.

Read the full op-ed here.

Priscilla De La Cruz

Director, Green Energy Consumers Alliance

R.I. needs to diversify our energy sources

How communities can use their collective buying power to get ahead of state policy and reduce their dependence on fossil fuel imports.

Read the full op-ed here.

Seth Magaziner:

Rhode Island general treasurer

R.I. infrastructure must be climate resilient

As we look toward the future, Rhode Island must face the fact that we are becoming more vulnerable to extreme weather like the 2010 floods. That’s why the state needs to prioritize investments in infrastructure that will protect our citizens from the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events.

Read the full op-ed here.

Johnathan Berard

Director, Clean Water Action

Legislative inaction exacerbates climate change crisis

Our elected officials give a lot of excuses for their inaction, but the one we hear most often is that climate action will hurt our economy. They tell us—without evidence— that policies to fight climate change will burden small businesses and cost Rhode Islanders jobs. They claim it’s too expensive or that Rhode Island is simply too small to make a difference. They’re wrong.


Read the full op-ed here.

Erika Niedowski

Northeast director, Coalition for Community Solar Access

We must drastically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels in key sectors

Science says we are behind schedule in addressing the climate crisis and that action must be urgently accelerated to stave off its worst effects. The good news is we know what we need to do. We must drastically reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, including natural gas, in the largest emissions-producing sectors: transportation, buildings, and power generation.

Read the full op-ed here.

Frank Carini

Editor, ecoRI News

Poor land use policies contribute to global warming

Rhode Island’s poor land use policies are exacerbating the local impact of global warming. Cranes in the sky and pile drivers on green space create jobs and win votes, but they also generate long-term problems, especially when bottom-line driven special interests manipulate what we build and where we build.

Read the full op-ed here.

Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.